Jays head to Rock Bridge in game to decide seeding (with PODCAST)

Ted LePage would like to stay at home.

For at least the first round of the playoffs, that is.

No. 9 Jefferson City (5-3) travels to Columbia to take on No. 10 Rock Bridge (4-4) at 7 p.m. Friday in a regular-season finale that has huge district seeding implications.

Audio

Jefferson City Week 9 Podcast (Soundcloud)

Each week, likely due out Thursday mornings, Jefferson City football beat writer Adam Stillman and host Tom Rackers will break down everything to do with Jay football. In this podcast, they look back at Jefferson City's Week 8 loss against Rockhurst and look ahead to Week 9's contest against Rock Bridge.

“A win for us would put us in a good position as far as getting at least a home game and maybe two if you look down the road,” the Jefferson City head coach said. “Winning this game would be huge for us, it’d be a really big step up. Any way we do it, we’re going to be in the tournament next week. We just have to try to be playing our best football.”

Jefferson City currently sits third in the Class 6 District 3 standings, but is in a dogfight with three other squads with the same record — as well as this Bruin team — that shows just 2.92 points separate second place (Francis Howell Central) from sixth (Rock Bridge). Francis Howell sits comfortably in first with a 7-1 record and 43.95 points, more than nine points better than Francis Howell Central.

Add in the fact it’s a huge rivalry game, and we might be in for a classic.

“Any time we play Rock Bridge it’s a big game for our kids,” LePage said. “Our kids really know that Rock Bridge has notoriously played their best game against us.”

The Bruins are in a little bit of a slump, having lost three straight games. That doesn’t mean a thing to LePage.

“When Rock Bridge plays Jeff City that’s all out the window,” he said. “(The slump) is not an indication to anything. When you put on the film that takes everything away because you see how dangerous they are. They can do a lot of things in a hurry, and if they get rolling, they’re probably as good as anybody in the state.”

Junior quarterback Logan Twehous runs the Bruin offense, and is coming off a 294-yard, three-touchdown performance in a 28-27 loss to Liberty last Friday.

“He’s really accurate, he’s really good in the pocket, but his most dangerous time is when he breaks down,” LePage said. “If you can keep him running toward the boundary I think you have a chance, but what he does real well is he’s able to avoid pressure, step up and if it’s not there he can put 20 or 30 yards in between him and the line of scrimmage in a hurry. You almost have to account for him on every play.”

Zach Reuter leads a strong receiving corps for the Bruins with 1,648 yards, and is joined by Alex Ofodile and Antwon Turnage.

“Having (previously suspended) Turnage back complements their two really good receivers,” LePage said.

That’s not all the Bruins can do, though.

“What we’ve noticed the past couple weeks is they’ve really taken an interest in running the football. They put in a couple different guys and go to a running set and really try to wear you out there, and then turn around and hit you with their big-play capability in the passing game.”

Jefferson City is coming off a 20-16 loss to Rockhurst last week.

“It hurt after the game,” LePage said. “We were ready to come back to work the next day. They really felt like they were close, and they don’t want to be close, ... we’re wanting to go over the top.”

The Jays lead the all-time series 14-5, with Rock Bridge owning a 28-18 victory in 2012. The Bruins’ four wins are against DeSmet, Fort Zumwalt West, Har-Ber (Ark.) and Hickman, with additional losses to Raymore-Peculiar, Helias and Rockhurst.

III

Jefferson City seniors John Dement and Jordan Robinson have been selected to play in the Blue-Grey All American Bowl.

Dement will play for the East team in the East-West game that’s held Dec. 22 at AT&T Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys.

Robinson will represent the North team in the North-South game Jan. 11 at Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Dement and Robinson were two of 90 seniors selected out of more than 6,750 players from across the nation.

“I think any time you’re recognized as a player by somebody of that nature, that’s a huge deal,” LePage said. “We’re excited for them, and it’s a great opportunity for them to go and show their talents to other people besides Jefferson City and the state of Missouri.”

Access the audio podcast here if the player fails to load automatically.

Alternatively, some devices can listen or download the podcast here.

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